Beyond Resonable Doubt: The Open and Shut Case for Classroom Learning

Posted by Paradigm Learning on June 25, 2015

Success in business is much like victory in the courtroom. The outcome is based on the quality of the evidence and the skill in which it is presented to the jury. For the sake of this argument, let’s rename the “evidence,” your “product,” and the “jury,” your “customers.” If your product doesn’t pass muster with your customers, it stands to lose popular support in public opinion. One bad verdict can have a devastating financial impact on your bottom line.

“Order in the court!”

No wonder so many business leaders have trouble sleeping at night. But it’s also why the best attorneys in the world are celebrities. The lesson here is perfectly reasonable: who represents you and how they do it is of utmost importance.

“If the glove fits …”

To our way of thinking, that sounds a lot like your employees. If you accept that premise, you’ll concede that they should be given every opportunity to state the very best case on behalf of your organization. That takes training, delivered using the give-and-take nature of communication and learned by making biological, neurological, and psychological connections to the subject matter at hand.

“Our witness, your Honor.”

Classroom learning vs. E-learning. In ATD’s 2014 “State-of-the-Industry” report, we found that “instructor-led learning is delivered 70 percent of the time, surpassing technology-based training.” Similarly, a recent CTDA analysis revealed that combining classroom-based training with discovery-learning methodologies can be a highly effective way to educate employees.

Based on the implications of these findings, we feel compelled to render a verdict of sorts as to why classroom-based learning seems to command attention in corporate training circles.

Exhibit A: The live-instructor. Instructors set the example that others follow in order to acquire new behaviors on the job and drive organizational performance.

Exhibit B: The teamwork. When learners trade ideas with one another and work through problems as a unit, they learn from one another; they reinforce information that might have otherwise slipped through the cracks.

Exhibit C: The ‘ah-ha’ moments. By setting the right pace and direction of the learning experience, facilitators guide participants toward acceptance of a chosen collective mindset.

The decision in favor of classroom learning can rest on this point: the instructor-led model is fully customizable, integrating video and audio elements in a powerful, discovery-based learning experience. Employees who are only given the bare bones of e-learning, technology-based initiatives rarely find reason to increase their levels of commitment to their organizations.

So, the way we see it, the verdict becomes the difference between employees who point fingers and say …

He did it!

And those who accept responsibility together …

We can do this!

Case closed.

Topics: Business Simulations, Experiential Learning, Employee Engagement